AXA Strategic Ventures (AXA SV), a global €230 million ($250 million) venture capital fund, announces today it is co-leading a $55 million Series A funding round for Blockstream. As part of the round, AXA Strategic Ventures joins Blockstream’s Advisory Board.
Blockstream is pioneering advancements in cryptocurrencies and blockchains to support a broad range of applications and industries. Blockstream provides companies with the most mature, well tested, and secure blockchain technology in production – the blockchain original protocol extended via interoperable sidechains – along with one of the most experienced teams in the industry.
The round was led by Horizons Ventures, with significant participation from AXA Strategic Ventures and Digital Garage, as well as participation from existing investors including AME Cloud Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Future\Perfect Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Mosaic Ventures, and Seven Seas Venture Partners. This funding round, adding to its $21 million seed round from 2014, will help Blockstream further expand its sidechain technology platform and operations.
Blockstream has created sidechains, a novel blockchain protocol and platform that enable development of an ecosystem of public and private blockchain networks capable of interoperating with each other, as well as with the Bitcoin network. This approach leverages the most mature and well tested technology, as well as the nearly $1B invested in companies working with this code today, thereby drastically cutting the cost of trust, improving security standards and reducing network fragmentation.
"We are convinced that blockchain technology has the ability to transform not only financial services but also other industries”, said François Robinet, Managing Partner, AXA Strategic Ventures. “Blockstream has one of the best technical team in the industry and we strongly believe in their approach of developing foundational infrastructure for various blockchain applications. Blockstream’s open source approach and sidechains will enable critical long-term success of this technology. We are excited about the close partnership that we will have with them in driving deeper engagement, thought leadership and technological transformation in the world of insurance and asset management as we believe that in this industry, blockchain technology will be a conduit for systematic changes”.
Blockchain technology has the potential to transform existing industry standards across sectors including insurance and asset-management. Distributed ledger technology has the capacity to simplify and bring transparency to the transactional model of insurance while lowering operational costs. Potential applications for insurance and asset-management are increasing in scope and include: smart contracts (new digital asset, secure record), micro transactions (payments/assets, mobility, new markets) and settlements (banks). The rapid pace of innovation in cryptocurrencies, distributed ledgers and smart contract technology is driving organizations to transform their operations.